We're Back!

Tom Stephens's picture
Printer-friendly version

The TL;DR. version is that the Frontier Explorer will resume publication in April, one year after the next issue was supposed to come out.  For the long version, read on.

It's been almost a year since WotC contacted me and asked me to suspend work on the fan magazines and remove the remastered products and reprinted Dragon magazine articles.  Since that was all completed in March 2018, there has been radio silence from WotC as they have been busy dealing with other fires and Star Frontiers has been low on their priority list.  That radio silence ended in January.

At that point I informed them of my intention to start the magazine back up and laid out my plans to do so.  I asked them to let me know if there were any issues with my plan and since I haven't heard back from them, I'm considering us good to go.  It's possible they will change their minds but I don't actually see any problems going forward.

So the remaining questions are: "What is going to happen?" and "What can I do to help?"  Here is what I'm planning on doing and ways you can help out if you are interested.

What's going to happen?

First, I've reopened the submission queue.  Our big, gold "Submit New Content" button is back.  The magazine lives and dies on submissions.  If you want to help with the magazine, consider submitting articles, game reports, news items, art, or other material for publication.  I don't think we'll have a problem filling the next issue but we will always need content for future issues.  And as part of this relaunch I'm explicitly widening the scope of the magazine.  It will probably always be heavily slanted towards Star Frontiers.  That is the game near and dear to my and my cofounder (and primary contributor), Tom Verrealt's, heart.  But I want to get submissions from other game systems as well, espeically FrontierSpace.  If you have material that would apply to sci-fi games, regardless of system, consider sharing.

Next, I'll be relisting the magazine issues on DriveThruRPG (and so have restored the link to there in the sidebar as well).  I never deleted them, just made them private so that will be easy to restore and will probably be done by the end of the day.

Nex, I'm planning on updates to the magazine layout.  I don't know if it will happen for the next issue (#24) but I'd like to redesign the layout of the magazine.  I'm not sure how, or to what extent yet, but it's something I'll be looking at as we get the next issue put together.  

As we start things back up, I'm planning on some updates to the website. Right now the site is not mobile friendly and I'd like to fix that at the very least.  I also want to rework some of the pages such as those that display the images, maps, and individual download descriptions. That will be a work in progress over the coming months so you can expect to see changes as we go along. 

Finally, I'd like to get all of the back issues on-line.  Many of the early issues of the magazine are also available in HTML format here on the site.  I want to work on getting the rest of the issues up as well.  And make sure the new articles go up as well.  This is mainly just hours spent creating the pages.  Maybe with a bit of reorganization and reformatting as well. 

What can you do to help?

Production of the magazine takes a lot of work.  There is a reason it is only at most 45 pages of content published every 3 months.  We can always use some help.  If you want to help support the magazine, there are a number of ways you can do so.

First and foremost, download, read, and share each issue, and talk about it on social media.  Help us get the word out and build our readership numbers.  Knowing that people are enjoying our work and talking about it is always a boost to morale.

Second, submit content.  I can't stress this enough.  If we don't have content, we don't have a magazine.  Not everyone feels like they have something to share and that's fine.  But if you do, we'd like to get your ideas out to the community and we'll help you develop the article so it's ready to go.  And remember, anything sci-fi RPG related is fair game, regardless of system.  We do have to respect trademarks and copyrights and while I'm not a lawyer, I do have a degree in library science as have worked as a librarian and am very familiar with the rules and laws.

Closely related to content submission, is editing.  We can always use more help in reviewing and editing content before it's published.  The more people that look at an article, the more errors and misunderstandings are fixed.  Let us know if you want to join the editing staff.

If there are any of the other projects and updates mentioned in the previous section that you would like to be involved in, please let me know.  If you are a graphics designer and would be interested in working on that part of the project, let's talk and can see what we can come up with.  If you are a web developer and want to help with the site upgrade, the site is built on Drupal and I'd be glad for some help.  Or if you're just willing to cut, paste, and format the old articles in the the on-line format, there's plenty of work there as well.

Finally, you can always support the magazine financially.  Web hosting, software, and other tools that we use to create and maintain the magazine and its website are not free.  Having financial resources allows us to do more and do it better.  If you want to help support the magazine financially, there are a number of ways you can do so:

  • For single, one-time donations, just use the Donate button to the left.  That will take you to PayPal where you can make a donation of any amount that you feel comfortable with.
  • All of the issues of the magazine both new and old, are (or will be) listed on DriveThruRPG as "pay-what-you-want" products.  You are more than welcome to download them for free either here on the site or at DTRPG but if you want to give us a "tip" for a specific issue, you can do it that way.
  • Finally, if you want to support each issue on a recurring basis, consider supporting our Patreon campaign. If you become a patron of the magazine, in addition to providing us with support, you get early access to the finished magazine issues, articles as they are completed before publication, and can provide input on articles to publish depending on your support level.  At the highest support level you even get a physical printed copy of the magazine.

Also, anyone who supports the magazine get listed on the Site Supporter page here and certain levels of Patreon support get listed in each issue of the magazine.

So that's the plan at the moment. I'm sure things will evolve as we get into the process so stay tuned for more information in the future.